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Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann
Bob the Artist by Marion Deuchars
The Big Shrink by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins
Black Hammer, Volume 4: Age of Doom Part Two by Jeff Lemire
Bound for Murder by Victoria Gilbert
Bowled Over by Victoria Hamilton
The Bride Was a Boy by Chii
Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire
Counting to Perfect by Suzanne LaFleur
Death by Coffee by Alex Erickson
The Great Brain Robbery by P.G. Bell
Holiday Buzz by Cleo Coyle
The House That Lou Built by Mae Respicio
It Devours! by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor
Just Like a Mama by Alice Faye Duncan and Charnelle Pinkney Barlow
A Love Hate Thing by Whitney D. Grandison
Magnificent Birds by Narisa Togo
The Mess That We Made by Michelle Lord and Julie Blattman
Out of Circulation by Miranda James
The Pretenders by Rebecca Hanover Queen of the Sea by Dylan Meconis
Sabrina the Teenage Witch by Kelly Thompson and Veronica Fish
The Space Between by Dete Meserve
Swing it, Sunny by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
There's a Murder Afoot by Vicki Delany
The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala
The Troubleshooter's Guide to Do-It-Yourself Genealogy by W. Daniel Quillen
The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles by Michelle Cuevas and Erin E. Stead
The Winterhouse Mysteries by Ben Guterson and Chloe Bristol
Wonder Valley by Ivy Pochoda
World's Worst Parrot by Alice Kuipers

Miscellaneous
December 2019 sources
December 2019 summary
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (January 06)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (January 13)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (January 20)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (January 27)

Road Essays
Road Narrative Update for December 2019

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Beautiful Darkness: 01/30/20

Beautiful Darkness

Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann is French graphic novel, published originally in 2009 as Jolies ténèbres. The book opens with a pretty blond girl getting ready to have tea with a prince when suddenly the world falls away and she finds herself and everyone else she knows marooned in a forest.

Aurora, it turns, out is what's left of the inner voice of a school child who has died or perhaps been murdered, in the forest. She and the others literally crawl out of the girls's corpse, primarily through her eyes and ears, implying quite literally that they are (or were) homunculi.

The remainder of the book is the rise and fall of civilization among these once imaginary creatures now made physical through death. The creatures of Aurora's mind (we learn from a notebook that the child's name was also Aurora), are drawn in an early twentieth century cartoon style. While they range from the cute to the grotesque, their actions are often barbaric.

Even Aurora the homunculus whom we've been lead to believe, falsely through her beauty and her apparent refinement, she is just as brutal and heartless as all the others. She ends up being the most brutal and the most determined to do away with the others.

Beautiful Darkness is a stunningly beautiful and equally disturbing read.

Four stars

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